Assam social welfare minister Pramila Rani Brahma on Saturday expressed concern over teenagers in the Bodo belt falling prey to drug and alcohol and called for more sensitisation sessions among the youth to control the menace.
Speaking at an awareness meeting on Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at Tangla town in this district, Brahma highlighted the role played by drug abuse and alcohol in crimes. “There is a need to counsel addicts and everybody must be stakeholders for this noble cause,” she said.
She also appealed to the students present to be sensible and to act responsibly towards mentally-challenged people.
Ratul Dey, counsellor of Nirmaan rehabilitation centre in Guwahati, spoke about his earlier life as a drug addict. He stressed the role of society in rehabilitating addicts was paramount.
“Everybody in the society, family, friends, administration and police must go hand-in-hand to tackle the drug menace. After all, an addict is a part of the society,” he said.
Another counsellor, Sristi Brahma, spoke about the role of teachers and government departments for an effective effort to end this social stigma.
Kokrajhar-based NGO Alayaran and the social welfare department jointly organised the event.
The NSS unit of Digboi College organised an awareness programme at Bapuji Bhimpather High School on tobacco. NSS volunteers and fourth semester students Nayana Saikia and Sumit Das spoke about the ill-effects of tobacco through audio-visual slides.
During an interactive session, around a dozen students admitted they were consuming chewing tobacco. They resolved to give up the habit.
Additional reporting by Avik Chakraborty in Dibrugarh